Make Your Resume Stand Out with 6 Simple Steps


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Be Great on Paper and Land an Interview at Your Dream Company.

Resume

A strong presence on paper can translate into a first step in the door at your new employer.

There are a thousand resume templates out there – ensure you personalize yours so you don’t look like other candidates. Use these 6 steps to take a fresh stab at your resume. Use your resume to help you land that interview where you can demonstrate you are the perfect fit.

6 Tips for Effective Resume Writing:

1. Personalize Your Resume for Each Job

Resumes are about story telling. You need to help the employer connect the dots on how you are the right fit to join their team. Connecting how your previous work demonstrates behaviours and achievements required in the new role helps them see how you will be successful.

Pro Tip:

The job posting is a great source for key words you should intersperse throughout your resume. May recruiters use keyword searches within their online applicant systems to identify the resumes they should review first. Ensure your resume is at the top of their list by being keyword rich.

2. Use Effective Titles

Titles can often be very company specific, don’t leave them guessing what you did. If your title is unclear or doesn’t summarize your responsibilities, use a more generic, industry-accepted title.

Pro Tip:

Check job boards for title ideas. Also check job postings within the company’s website you are looking to join. Try and use similar nomenclature and titles.

3. Show Growth

Be clear how each position grew your skills and highlight any promotions achieved. Demonstrate how you have grown within a company.

4. Focus on Achievements vs. Responsibilities

Be clear on achievements in the role – things you uniquely achieved. Wherever possible use facts and figures to demonstrate your past professional achievements.

Pro Tip:

Don’t share proprietary or confidential information when listing facts. 11% of recruiters have declined hiring a candidate as they posted negative comments about a previous employer. Future employers want you to know you respect confidentiality.

Read HERE for other reasons recruiters have declined candidates and social media lockdown tips. It is important that your social media presence backs up your professional resume. Ensure you have a uniform story that reinforces the same messages across platforms.

5. Good Design

Make your resume as easy to read as possible. It needs to make a strong visual impression on the recruiter/hiring manager and also be easily read by an applicant software program.

Bold titles, indicate locations, and right justify all dates. Create clear sections and order those sections based on relevance for the position. Use bullets or short summary sentences for describing achievements.

Pro Tip:

Looking to make a career shift but have no professional experience in that space but have taken some academic courses? Put education before experience in this case. Think about you can visually demonstrate your aptitude and achievements for the role.

6. Proofreading

Ensure your resume is error free and grammatically sound.

Pro Tip:

Writing your own resume is tough! Though I have editing tons of friend’s resumes and look at candidate’s resumes on a daily basis, editing my own was hard. I know what I’m trying to say so it’s difficult to read it with a critical eye. It’s important to have a friend or professional edit your resume to give you subjective advice to achieve the perfect polish.

Even before starting your resume, ask friends or professional colleagues you respect for their resume. This is a great way to see templates and formats that work. Use the best of each of them to build your own paper presence.

How Do You Define Good on Paper?

Recruiters:

What have you seen out there that makes a resume stand out above the rest?

Job Seekers:

What questions do you have about resume writing? How have you edited your resume in the past? What’s worked/not worked for you?

Chelsea Newton
Chelsea is known as a dynamic and engaging talent consultant and professional speaker. As a Certified Executive Coach, she is extremely passionate about helping people realize both their goals and full potential. Chelsea has worked in 12 countries around the world helping Fortune 500 companies recruit, train, develop, and motivate top talent using cutting edge communication techniques and social media. She is currently developing top talent in the oil sands and speaking across Canada as the founder of Talent Formula.

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  • Soolee

    So simple but so important to follow.

  • Katie Romano

    Great points as always Chelsea, I especially liked the pro tip to list your education first if you do not have the work experience for the position you are applying to. Having experience as both a job seeker AND a recruiter, below are some tips/best practices;

    1. When listing your accomplishments be sure to include numbers. In my
    experience a quantitative value makes your achievements real while allowing you to stand out. For example – ‘Reported on campaign ROI for the year, resulting in the implementation of revised market selection that reflects a 40% decrease in costs of wages.’

    2. Begin your resume with a ‘profile’ or ‘summary’ of your experience/achievements. This portion should only be 5-10 bullet points
    which highlight your key accomplishments. Think of this section as an executive summary – if the CEO of a company was to only read this part of your resume, what would you want them to know?

    3. Update your resume/LinkedIn often – you never know when the perfect job will come looking for you.

    • chelsea

      Katie
      Thank you so much for sharing the above tips on what you look for as an experienced recruiter !! I hope that Talent Formula readers benefit from your practical suggestions.

  • Cynthia R. Petersen

    Oh, Yes, You can make your stand out using online helpers which has also helped me to write my paper. I also asked them to write my resume and they did it in a great way and allowed me to write a perfect resume within very short time frame.

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